Broadway Ticket Refunds and Show Cancellations - Guide To Getting Broadway Tickets Refunded
Broadway Ticket Refunds and Cancellations
Coronavirus COVID-19 Broadway Ticket Refunds
Story Updated 07/13/2020
Broadway Ticket Refunds
All Broadway show performances through Sunday January 3rd, 2021 have now been cancelled due to the Coronvirus COVID-19 pandemic. Broadway shows were first closed on March 12th, 2020 and all tickets between these two dates are now null and void and will be refunded to ticket purchasers.
All tickets for the performances up to January 3rd, 2021, (was previously September 6th, 2020) will be automatically refunded to the credit card of the original ticket purchaser, but some special ticket sales may fall through the cracks and will require some extra work to get refunded. The previous refund cutoff date was September 6th, 2020 and the one before that was June 12th, 2020. As the anticipated Broadway reopening date has been changed three times already, so has the ticket refund cutoff date.
Ticket sales that were done in cash, gift card, voucher or by barter at the box office are a little bit more complicated and have to be processed by the appropriate production company for each show. Credit card refunds should have occurred soon after the announcement of the show closings, but it is taking some time for them to process the huge amount of ticket refunds that are due. All new shows that were scheduled to open for the first time during this dark period should have also been completely refunded by now.
Broadway tickets for performances scheduled between September 6th, 2020 and January 2021 have not yet been fully refunded, as the number of transactions to process are very high and the refund process will take a few weeks to process.
Broadway Reopening Day Still Not Clear
The Broadway industry has indicated that it expects to reopen January 4th, 2021, but that date is not firm as NYC is still far behind in meeting the NY state requirements to be able to reopen. Broadway planned to reopen in Governor Cuomo's phase 4 of the reopen plan, which is anticipated to be some time after December 1st, 2020. This puts Broadway theatres reopening in the start of 2021, but things can change rapidly, as they have done throughout this pandemic and social unrest period. All the dates are still not firm and are the dates are best guesses at this point. Once another official announcement comes out from the Broadway League about the next Broadway milestone, the cutoff date may change yet again to later in 2021. Pundits expect March 2021 is the target for a potential return to Broadway performances.
Broadway Ticket Refunds Beyond January 2021
Tickets for performances after January 2021 will not yet be refunded, but given the ever-changing landscape, it is anticipated that all ticket buyers will be given the option to change the date of a performance or get a full refund for all these future tickets. Broadway audiences are not expected to want to come to the NYC for at least a few months after the COVID-19 pandemic, protests, looting and riots subside. It is deemed perfectly appropriate by Broadway show producers that buyers would expect a ticket refund instead of being forced to attend a show that potentially puts their life in jeopardy. Audiences may be at risk of infection, or getting tied up in lawless street protests and could potentially be shot by the NYC police, especially if they are people of color.
Telecharge Ticket Refunds During Coronavirus
If you purchased tickets from Telecharge for a suspended or canceled performance, your tickets would have been refunded back to your credit card. If that has not happened yet, then you may need to contact Telecharge. The Telecharge call center is located in New York and New Jersey (Hackensack) and has been closed until further notice, so you will have to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not expect a quick turnaround as they will need up to 5 business days for a reply and even then it might just be an auto-responder as Telecharge (and the Shubert Organization) is not known for good customer service and their website has always been a mess. This is a great example of why a duopoly like this should not be allowed to operate as it discourages innovation and consumers suffer when The Shubert Organization fails to put together an effective business continuity plan for these kinds of events. If 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy was not a big enough wake up notice, then lord knows what is.
Contact Telecharge By Email
Ticketmaster Ticket Refunds During Coronavirus
For tickets purchased from Ticketmaster for a suspended or canceled performance, your tickets should have already been refunded back to your credit card. If that has not happened yet, then you may need to contact Ticketmaster directly. It is Ticketmaster’s standing policy to automatically refund the full cost of the Broadway ticket and the associated fees back to the original purchaser’s credit card for any canceled events: As this is an unprecedented volume of show cancellations during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Ticketmaster states that you should expect to receive your refund in less than 30 days, as they are forced to refund over 1 billion tickets worldwide, understandably sending them into a bit of a tailspin.
Contact Ticketmaster By Email
Roundabout Ticket Refunds
Broadway shows that appear at the Studio 54 Theatre and the American Airlines Theatre are processed through the Roundabout Theatre Company. To contact this organization please call 212-719-1300
Ambassador Theatre Group
Ticketing for shows that appear in the Hudson Theatre are owned and managed by the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) and can be contacted at 1-855-801-5876
Stubhub is the largest secondary Broadway ticket broker and their contact information for is: 1-866-788-2482
Ticket Refunds From Other Ticket Sources
We know that many people buy their Broadway tickets from other sources, so you should contact those sources directly for advice. This would include ticket brokers, employee benefit programs, ticket counters, TDF and many other sources. Unfortunately, many of these sources are not operating at a full staff complement so the quality of the response may not be at full strength.
Non-Coronavirus COVID-19 Refunds - The Normal Refund Policy
Below are the policies for Broadway ticket refunds when there is no Coronavirus COVID-19 threat and we are back to some version of Broadway business normality.
People Often Believe The Official Show Policies That They Cannot Get a Broadway Ticket Refund,
But That Is Not Necessarily True
Over the years, there have been many circumstances where Broadway theatres have processed refunds for special circumstances. In many cases they processed them when the buyer just could not make the show.
In the Broadway stagehand strike in November 2007, there were an awful lot of Broadway show ticket refunds. The Broadway box offices had to give ticket refunds because the shows were completely cancelled and people didn't know when the shows would resume, so they couldn't really get alternative dates and a refund was the only appropriate response,
But even now, at every top Broadway show, there are people eager to buy tickets that only become available on the day of the show. Some of these tickets are rush and SRO tickets that are sold at deeply discounted prices, some tickets are unused house seats that the Broadway show has decided to sell, others are VIP seats that they haven't sold at the inflated "premium" rate and have therefore been dropped down to the regular price - but there is another type of ticket that becomes available at the last minute as well, and that is the canceled or refunded Broadway ticket. So refunds on Broadway tickets do exist - it's not quite as simple as taking bad lettuce back to the supermarket, but it is possible to get a ticket refund and people are getting them every day.
Cancellation Broadway Tickets
You may be familiar with the term "cancellation or cancelled tickets" - they're the Broadway show tickets that you wait in line for (on the day of the show) when you're desperate to get into a sold-out show. You and the other folks who couldn't manage to get tickets in advance stand there biting your nails, hoping something will become available at the last minute. But everybody who has ever purchased a Broadway show ticket also knows that the box office is quick to point out that there are no refunds or exchanges. So what gives? If nobody is allowed to return their Broadway tickets, then where are these fabled cancellation or refund tickets coming from? These refunded tickets are coming from people just like you.
Broadway Ticket Refunds
The truth is that there is some flexibility to the "no ticket refunds or exchanges" rule. Outright ticket refunds are rare (unless the performance itself is canceled or experiences a technical difficulty), but exchanges are not uncommon - so it's a kind of refund, without being a cash refund per se. It's done by calling up Ticketmaster or Telecharge and asking if they will exchange your ticket for another performance due to some unforeseen circumstance that you have. They are most likely to comply when the Broadway show in question is very popular, because then they are relatively secure that they will be able to re-sell your ticket on short notice. The Broadway show itself would rather not process ticket refunds, but they realize that they must be reasonable, otherwise they face a wave of unpopular opinion.
Ticket Insurance Policy - Guaranteed Ticket Refund
Ticketmaster actually offers a ticket insurance policy - for a few extra dollars per ticket, you are guaranteed the right to cancel (or refund the value) of your ticket providing your excuse is on their official list of acceptable reasons. These ticket refunds account for some of the cancellation tickets that become available at the Broadway box office shortly before the performance, but there really is not a whole lot of ticket refunds going on for the most popular shows. The lesser Broadway shows however have a lot more refunds being processed. This is because ticket brokers often buy the insurance just in case they cannot sell the Broadway show ticket. The show can become unpopular between the time they buy the ticket and when they come to sell it, so having a guaranteed refund is a huge boon to the ticket broker - a refund that he would not get with TeleCharge or any of the other ticket sellers - and significantly reduces the risk. Who is the loser here for processing the refund? It's clearly Ticketmaster.
Easier To Get A Refund At The Box Office Than Sell To A Ticket Scalper
Often the cancellation (or refunded) tickets come from the leader of a large group that has some members who didn't show up and who were unable to make it. At a less popular Broadway show, these people might be stuck standing in front of the theater alongside the scalpers, trying to sell off the unused tickets. But at a hot show, the box office is more likely to take the ticket back so that they can sell it to someone on the cancellation line. The box offices of these hit shows also buy back leftover inventory from ticketing agencies at the last minute. The agency might not have been able to unload all their tickets in advance, so they're anxious to make back whatever they can, and the box office is more than happy to take these tickets and sell them to the cancellation line. Something the ticket agency isn't officially allowed to do because of their 'no refund' policies.